J&J, AstraZeneca may alter COVID vaccines because of blood clots

Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca PLC, and the University of Oxford are doing early stage research into whether potential modifications to their coronavirus vaccines could reduce or eliminate the risk of rare but serious blood clots, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Quoting sources described as being close to the process, the journal said that outside scientists are also joining the effort and that emerging evidence of clot formation raises hopes of identifying the cause. AstraZeneca hopes to update its recording by next year, the Journal said.

It is too early to know whether the J&J recording or the AstraZeneca recording can be modified or whether it would make economic sense, the journal wrote. AstraZeneca said it was “working actively with regulators and the scientific community” to learn more about the rare blood clotting events, including information about early detection and treatment.

Aside from the scientific hurdles, modifications may require changes in property rights or regulatory approvals. Still, the unprecedented scale and urgency of the adoption of COVID-19 vaccines could accelerate scientific research and legal problems, as the journal said, as does vaccine development.

Use of the J&J vaccine, touted for its ease of use, was suspended for 10 days in April while federal health officials looked at reports of several women who developed severe blood clots within two weeks of receiving the vaccine. Authorities later found that the vaccine’s benefits outweighed its risks. Almost 13 million J&J shots were administered.

Also on the news:

The Tennessee state government on Monday fired its chief vaccination officer, making it the last of around two dozen states to lose years of institutional knowledge about vaccines amid the coronavirus pandemic.

►Malaysia closed a mass vaccination center Tuesday after more than 200 medical staff and volunteers tested positive for the coronavirus.

►Utah Governor Spencer Cox apologized Monday after his administration discovered last week that a state agency incorrectly stated that 70% of the state’s residents had received a dose. After the correction, the percentage dropped to 67%.

► Federal health officials maintained their position that Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need a booster vaccination after meeting with representatives from vaccine maker Pfizer on Monday.

📈 Today’s numbers: There have been more than 33.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 607,400 deaths in the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The global total: more than 187.4 million cases and more than 4 million deaths. Nearly 160 million Americans – 48% of the population – have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘 What we read: Since many adolescents and young adults are preparing to return to the classroom in the fall semester with the spread of the Delta variant, the declining vaccination rates for Generation Z are causing concern among experts.

Keep updating this page for the latest news. Want more? Sign up for USA TODAY’s Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates straight to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

French set record for vaccine appointments

Nearly 1 million people in France set vaccine appointments in a single day under pressure to save the summer vacation and save the French economy. An app that centralizes France’s vaccine appointments, Doctolib, announced Tuesday that 926,000 people had scheduled appointments on Monday, a daily record since the country’s introduction of coronavirus vaccines in December. 65% of the new hires were younger than 35 years.

Infections are on the rise in France, which is fueling discussions that President Emmanuel Macron could announce vaccination requirements – and new demand for appointments. About 41% of the French population are fully vaccinated.

FDA warns of possible link between J&J vaccine and autoimmune disease

The Food and Drug Administration warns of a possible link between this Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the autoimmune disease known as Guillain-Barré syndrome. In a statement, the agency said the data suggest “a link” between the vaccine and a higher risk of disease, but not enough “to establish a causal link”. Approximately 12.8 million doses of the J&J shot were administered.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says on their website that people with Guillain-Barré Syndrome can be vaccinated against COVID-19 and that no cases of the disease have been reported in clinical trials for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. One case has been reported in J&J studies, the CDC said.

Iraqi health authorities: 64 dead in fire on coronavirus station

The death toll from a catastrophic fire that broke out the day before in a coronavirus hospital ward in southern Iraq rose to 64 on Tuesday, Iraqi medical officials said. Two health officials said more than 100 people were also injured in the fire that set al-Hussein Teaching Hospital’s coronavirus ward in Nasiriyah city on Monday.

Tortured relatives were still searching for traces of their loved ones Tuesday morning, searching the debris of charred blankets and belongings in the burned remains of the station. A blackened skull of a deceased patient from the ward was found. Many cried openly, their tears colored with anger, blaming both the provincial government of Dhi Qar, where Nasiriyah is based, and the federal government in Baghdad for years of mismanagement and neglect.

“The whole state system collapsed, and who paid the price for it? The people in here. These people paid the price, “said Haidar al-Askari, who was at the location of the fire.

Overnight, firefighters and rescuers – many only with flashlights and blankets to put out small fires that are still indulging in places – desperately searched the station in the dark. As dawn came, sheet-covered corpses were laid on the floor in front of the hospital.

Officials previously said the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit but did not provide any further details. Another official said the fire started when an oxygen cylinder exploded. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not allowed to speak to journalists.

– Associated press

US cases were up 97.4% from last week, but likely due to the July 4th report

In the past seven days, new COVID-19 cases in the US were up 97.4% from the previous week, with 47 states now reporting an increase in infections, according to Johns Hopkins University. However, the sharp spike is likely from states that didn’t report over the July 4th holiday and closed on Monday, likely artificially increasing the number of new infections.

The US is again reporting cases at the rate of nearly 1,000 an hour. That is more than twice as fast as the country just a few weeks ago, before the number of cases rose again.

Meanwhile, more than 99% of deaths are in people who have not been vaccinated, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“When (patients) are sick enough to be hospitalized, they are not vaccinated. That is the absolute common denominator for these patients, ”said Dr. Howard Jarvis, an emergency doctor in Springfield, Missouri, told CNN on Monday. “I can see the regret on her face. You know, we ask you because we want to know if you have been vaccinated? And it is very clear that many of them regret (not being vaccinated). “

– Mike Stucka

California prohibits K-12 students from entering campus without a mask

California’s new state rules prohibit K-12 students from attending face-to-face classes without a mask, in accordance with new state regulations released Monday.

The rules violate the CDC’s recommendations that allow vaccinated students to attend classes without masks. California added stricter rules in addition to federal recommendations.

State chief of Public Briefing Tony Thurmond told the Los Angeles Times that part of the reason is that these people under the age of 12 still cannot be vaccinated. Masks are a helpful addition when physical distancing can be difficult in full presence.

“That makes it more durable that everyone can come back and everyone can be safe,” said Thurmond. “So I see this as a sensible measure to promote safety, but also as a way to come back.”

The California Department of Health tweeted Monday that school policies regarding mask enforcement and safety are being clarified.

Contribution: The Associated Press.

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